Wikipedia articles of interest

1) Muller’s ratchet.

2) Mountain Meadows massacre. I read A Study in Scarlet not long ago, then decided to read up a little bit on the history of the Mormons. I think I’ve now put Utah on my mental list of places I don’t ever want to visit.

3) Diffuse sky radiation. Rayleigh scattering. ‘Why the sky is blue’, among other things. Read both articles if the subject is of interest to you.

4) 2010 United States federal budget. Three key figures, all estimates:

a) Total revenue: $2.381 trillion.
b) Total expenditures: $3.552 trillion
c) Deficit: $1.171 trillion.

Individual income taxes is expected to make up $1.061 trillion, a smaller number than the projected deficit. The long version is here, haven’t read that one.

5) Iatrogenesis (‘inadvertent adverse effects or complications caused by or resulting from medical treatment or advice’). Not one of wikipedia’s best articles, but often I find it’s easier to remember new words and concepts if you’re able to read a bit about it and put it into context. If I read about a concept X which has characteristic Y, I’m less likely to remember what X is than if I read about the same concept X but with characteristics Y,Z,T – even though I’ll likely not remember Z and T in the long run. I often prefer wikipedia to a dictionary, because the often more extensive discription makes the subjective cost of forgetting about the concept afterwards higher. It’s easier for me to remember that I’ve been reading about a cat if it also happens to be a black cat with four paws and a white spot over the eye. Maybe I’m just weird.

6) Hypertension. Have I linked to this article before? Maybe. I shall have to admit that my main motivation for linking to this piece was this post. Smart people can be quite stupid at times and walking around with an untreated high blood pressure is very stupid. If a guy as smart as PZ was not aware of this risk, maybe one of my readers aren’t either. Here’s one relevant meta-analysis that might be of interest.


August 17, 2010 - Posted by | Economics, Genetics, Medicine, Physics, Wikipedia

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